With men’s health a trending topic across November, one Member of Parliament is taking the opportunity to showcase the state of male wellbeing in rural Australia, where the average life expectancy is less than that of their urban counterparts.
Queensland Member for Bundaberg David Batt MP, is supportive of greater awareness and assistance for the challenges faced by people living outside of urban Australia.
“November shines an important spotlight on men’s health in Australia and as an active health campaigner who represents Australians living outside of the city bubble, I’m keen to reopen the dialogue of the healthcare needs of people living in rural Australia,” Mr Batt said.
Challenges men face in rural Australia in healthcare include specific barriers in accessing healthcare due to remoteness or absence of public transport networks. Alongside this, males working in remote parts of the country are more likely to work long hours or be tied into seasonal work. Existing studies also suggest they experience discomfort in a GP waiting room environment and a fear of knowing their true health status.
“Keeping fit and healthy can be challenging and in order to reduce that difficulty, I believe it’s vital for healthcare options to be readily available and easily accessible,” Mr Batt said.
David Batt MP recently visited his local Priceline Pharmacy in Bundaberg and undertook a free health check on one of the SiSU Health Stations available there. SiSU Health Stations are self-service kiosks located in over 350 locations across Australia, the UK, Europe and Ireland which are free of charge to use. In just four minutes, they quickly, easily and accurately assess key health factors including body composition, blood pressure, heart age and BMI.
“The digital machines are extremely easy to use, they cause no pain or discomfit, it only takes a few minutes and it doesn’t cost a cent,” He said.
“I try my best to stay fit and healthy by exercising most days and eating a well-balanced diet and my health results reflected those habits, unfortunately though our region shows some poor results.”
A report pulled from the SiSU Health Station at the Bundaberg Priceline Pharmacy from October 2017 to 2018 showed that 60% of males that used the SiSU Health Station reported a minimum of two health risks. The report also suggests that one in three of the men in the Bundaberg region have a sub-optimal blood pressure.
“The measurements that these SiSU machines calculate aren’t physical, you can’t see them with the naked eye but that doesn’t make them any less important than any other health related matter,” Mr Batt said.
“The earlier you can identify health risks, the quicker you can act to remedy them before they become harmful or potentially fatal.”
SiSU Wellness Managing Director, and former Head of Fitness for Richmond and Collingwood AFL teams, Dr Noel Duncan said, “Having spent much of my career dedicated to monitoring the health of Australia’s top athletes, I wanted to find a way to take the principles of using data to manage health and wellbeing out to Australia at large.
“The longstanding norm is to present to a doctor once you’re already showing signs of sickness. SiSU Wellness is flipping this on its head. New technologies exist that flag the warning signs of disease before it has a chance to emerge. You don’t have to be ill to be unhealthy.
“SiSU Wellness recognise the unique challenges rural Australia face in accessing healthcare. A Health Check on our SiSU Health Station is always free and located around your community. Our ambition is to have a SiSU Health Station within 5km of everyone, allowing Australian citizens to check in on their health quickly and easily.
“My message to Australia is simple – prevention is always better than cure,” concludes Dr Duncan.
To find your nearest Health Station, please visit https://www.sisuwellness.com/find-a-station/